As soon as Thomas Tuchel left Paris Saint-Germain in December 2020, Chelsea fans werew waiting for the rumours.
Current boss Frank Lampard is going through a bit of a rough patch, while Tuchel is known to have been intriguing to club officials in the past. He was under consideration to replace Antonio Conte in 2018, but Chelsea ultimately went for Maurizio Sarri.
The rumours are back now. Christian Falk recently revealed that Chelsea have had ‘non-binding’ contact with the former PSG boss, who is understood to be keen on a move to Stamford Bridge in the near future.
If all you know of Tuchel is through his Wikipedia page, you’ll likely be excited by this. This is a man who won the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund and went on to dominate France, winning two Ligue 1 titles and even steering PSG to the Champions League final. That’s impressive.
However, Chelsea cannot afford to get lured in by Tuchel’s CV. This is a move the Blues should avoid at all costs.
An issue with Tuchel is that, despite all his recent silverware, he’s only really managed the bare minimum. It’s assumed that PSG will win Ligue 1, but the challenge he failed to live up to was guiding PSG to European glory.
Granted, losing to 2019/20 Bayern Munich isn’t exactly the biggest failure, but it was indictive of a worrying trend in Tuchel’s career – an inability to win big games.
Last season, he tried to get clever tactically and watched on as his side lost 2-1 to Dortmund in the last 16 first leg. He needed a masterclass from his big names to wipe the egg off his face in the return.
If you go back to 2018/19, you’ll find defeats to both Liverpool and Manchester United (the exact opponents Chelsea are trying to beat domestically), while 2017/18 brought losses to Bayern and Real Madrid.
They’re not the kind of games you should expect to breeze every time. After all, they are four of the biggest clubs on the planet. However, what those defeats show is that Tuchel is likely not the man to take Chelsea to the next level. The goal is for Chelsea to be able to compete with (and beat) those teams.
If Chelsea have lost faith in Lampard (most reports suggest they haven’t just yet), they cannot afford to replace him with somebody who isn’t a guaranteed winner. There’s no point ripping up this long-term transition for another hired gun who might not even make it all worth it.
Fortunately, it seems as though Chelsea aren’t as supportive of Tuchel as it may seem. A recent report from The Telegraph revealed that Chelsea had concerns about the boss’ personality and management style when they first looked into him in 2017, fearing that he would not be a good fit for the club.
Tuchel’s track record for clashing with big players and club officials had Chelsea concerned, and with his prickly reputation only growing in recent years, it’s hard to see Chelsea thinking now is the right time to pull the trigger.
Tuchel clashed regularly with PSG director Leonardo over transfers, but that’s not the first time he has had bust-ups with management. Former PSG man Antero Henrique wasn’t his best friend, while previous spells with Mainz and Dortmund both ended in fights with the board. That’s not the atmosphere Chelsea need right now.
Admittedly, that sort of common sense wasn’t there when Chelsea rejected Tuchel to stick with Conte and then hire Sarri, two abrasive managers who personify everything the Blues claimed to detest, but things are moving in the right direction.
Lampard has helped calm things down, but if he can’t bring the results, his head will roll soon. If that does happen, so be it, but Chelsea must have a better plan than Tuchel if they are going to give their greatest midfielder ever the boot.